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COVID-19: Edo State in Nigeria records 60 new cases as govt calls for caution

With the continuous rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Edo State, the government has reiterated the need for residents to be cautious and observe precautionary measures against the spread of the virus in order to remain safe and healthy.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, expressed worry over the alarming rate of community spread of the virus, noting that there was need for residents to take responsibility and support government’s efforts at containing the pandemic across all communities in the state.

This, he said, was necessary to protect all citizens, especially the elderly, who account for most of the fatalities recorded in the state.

The commissioner noted that the state recorded 60 new confirmed cases with 38 tested at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while the remaining 22 cases were confirmed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.

He reassured that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration will not relent in the efforts to contain the pandemic, adding that contact tracing, line-listing and monitoring of contacts of the confirmed cases are ongoing by the state’s surveillance pillar.

According to him, “Physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, hand hygiene and other epidemiological safety rules must be strictly followed in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the people, especially the elderly, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Okundia said Edo has now recorded a total of 33 COVID-19 related deaths, 130 discharged persons, 2567 line-listed contacts, 5750 suspected cases and 933 confirmed cases.

The commissioner however, reiterated the need for citizens to present or report themselves through the Edo State COVID-19 toll-free response lines following any recent travel from high incident states or contact with confirmed cases.

He noted, “Two new toll-free lines for COVID-19 response have been introduced by Edo State Government to strengthen the initial lines from the State Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) distributed at the onset of the outbreak. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call 08001235111 or 08002200110 for assistance.”